Your Questions

Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell, I am a huge fan and am very much looking forward to the continuation of Uhtred's story. Is there a time frame for the next book?
Andrew Abbott

When can we expect the next (final?) of the Saxon series? Thank you.

Curtis Howell

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I just finished your Saxon Stories a little while back, and have been wondering since then when you will have a fifth book out in the series, I just can't wait to read more about Uhtred's adventures! Thanks for your time. :)

Pearce Lutz

hi Bernard have to say i love your work, my favs are the warlord series.But when are you gonna finish the next Saxon book when we gonna see Uhtred kick some ass.

Lee Foreman

Just wondered what book you are working on at the moment?

Russ Whitehouse

I've enjoyed everything I've read so far. In the past year, since I discovered you, I've read the Grail Quest, Saxon Stores, and the "first" dozen Sharpe novels (chronologically). Currently have Agincourt and Stonehenge to work through. (I prefer the cover to the UK edition to the US one--much better.) Anyway, I don't see an update of what you have in the works now, and was curious. Thanks, Todd

Are you through with the Saxon Tales???? Seems like the story wasn't finished, I would love to read another, when they take Bebbenburg.

Emily Smedley

A

I am working on the next book of the Saxon stories now. Hope to have it ready for publication in the UK in October (January 2010 for the US).


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I must begin by thanking you for the many wonderful hours of enjoyment your books and characters have given me. After I finished the Sharp series, I felt as if some of my best friends had left me. The same with Derfel and Thomas. Most of my day is spent in a vehicle, driving from job to job, and I have enjoyed most of your books as recorded books. I was curious if you have any say in who narrates your books, and if you listen to any of the recordings. Are the pronunciations and accents to your liking?

Have you ever thought of narrating your books as a "read by the author"? Then we could see how you as the author would portray the characters and their interactions. Once again, thank you for your books, they have truly enriched my life, and I look forward to further adventures.
D'Arin Morgan

A

I don't listen to the audio version of any of my books and I have no involvement in selecting the performer, although I've heard others say some of the performers are quite good.
I haven't thought of it, or been asked to do it. I suspect it's better done by a professional actor, though I wouldn't mind trying one day!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell; Thanks so much for your writings. My personal favorites are the Grail Quest series, the Saxon Stories and your most recent Azincourt. Will you be coming out with any more "long bow" characters and novels? Kindest Regards, David Hawkyard

A

It's certainly possible!


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I'm sorry, but Agincourt was quite perhaps the worst book I have ever read. Don't get me wrong, I worshipped you after reading the Saxon Tales. Never before have I been so fully engrossed in and satisfied by a novel. But I just don't understand where your storytelling skills go when the hero is an archer, because the Grail Quest was pretty bad too. Now, seriously, back to Agincourt. Nothing whatsoever happened in that book. It was entirely bloviation. There were two, maybe three battle scenes. You spend half the book just describing the siege of Harfleur. And then a third of it repeating the lines "The French were going to attack" at Agincourt, but they didn't do anything until the final pages. And how could we possibly believe 24,000 Frenchmen lost that battle? If i hear back from you, I'll comment more on this. I just want an explanation for the atrocity that is Agincourt. I mean, are you the same Bernard Cornwell who created Uhtred, or have you lost your touch? Teja Alapati

A

Well, you're hearing back from me! How could 24,000 Frenchmen (probably 30,000) lose that battle? But they did. You have a problem with that? So did the French. I guess I can't help you.


Q

Mr. Cornwell I enjoy your books and have just completed the Saxon Stories but I have a question for you. In the Arthur Books you mention England as a single country yet in the Saxon Stories Alfred has yet to create the unification. Am I nit picking? Given that the Arthurian period follows the collapse of Rome perhaps the country was still one identification as a single unit was possible. Whereas in Alfred's time the Viking Invasion had broken the country into little counties and fiefdoms. However your thoughts would be welcome. I look forward to the next Uhtred adventure but I am 65 and cannot wait forever for the series to finish. John Coupe

A

Well, the series is about the making of England. You can say that what we call England was a political entity under the Romans, but that, of course, was before the English arrived, and besides it was not ruled by the indigenous people. That entity (Brittania) was shattered by the withdrawal of the legions, the arrival of the Angles and Saxons, and by internal rivalry by the British (which is the background to the Arthurian novels). Alfred, towards the end of his reign, adopted the title King of the Angelcynn, which is a statement of his ambition to see all those areas of Britain speaking English united in one country - Englaland, he would have called it - and no, he didn't achieve that ambition, but his grandson did. Therein lies the tale - and it's a process that begins with Alfred.


Q

Hi Bernard, love your books, narrative always compelling, appreciate your care with historicity. One question: as an Anglican priest I detect a strong dislike of Christianity throughout your novels, that goes beyond necessary historical accuracy. Would be interested in your honest response! Thanks. Frank Hinds

Mr. Cornwell, First off I couldn't be a bigger fan! Thank you for your great books! I recently read your short "Growing Up Peculiar" and afterward reflected back on some your books that I have read. It seems like your main characters (I have only had the pleasure of reading about Sharpe, Starbuck and Uhtred so far) all rebel against the church in one way or another. Which may lead one to come to the conclusion that you have a negative look at Christianity, however, you have other positive characters such as McCandless and Don Blas Vivar whom you show in a positive light even though they are of the faith in one form or fashion. Not to mention Alfred who's faith, I gathered from the history in your Saxon series, was the driving force behind England's survival. After reflecting on such things I was wondering what your overall opinion of the church is (The Peculiars aside... after reading your account who could have a positive thing to say of them)? I suppose I am a "fundamentalist" in that I believe the bible to be inerrant, and would just like satisfy my curiosity. Was Reverend Starbuck modeled from your adopted father? I will continue to read everything you write with vigor and thank you again!!

Joe

A

I think the Reverend Starbuck has some of my adopted father in him . . . . so does my portrait of Stonewall Jackson! But my overall opinion of the church? Wow, that's a wide topic and I'm sure you'd dislike the answer. For a start the church is such a broad thing - stretching from snake-handlers in Tennessee to Mozart's Requiem being sung in a baroque Cathedral. Not sure there's a swift answer, except to say that I have no doubts about the goodness of individual Christians and many doubts about the opportunities for ambition and corruption that the church (and every other institution) provides.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell, I hope this message finds you well. I'm not normally one for bothering people to tell them I think they are brilliant but for some reason I really felt the need to. I am currently reading 'The Pale Horseman' in the middle of my fourth journey through the saxon books, (my favourite series of all that you have written) and was wondering if you have any plans for the next book as I am desperate to find out what happens!

Also I did read that you are unable to use peoples ideas for a book due to lawyers but does this still apply if you are being asked to document part of a family's history? I only ask because there is a story passed down through my Mothers family that "7 stalwart Fletchers died at a battle near here" The battle this relates to is the battle of Towton in the English Civil War 'when cock beck ran red with blood' and more Englishmen relative to the population at the time died than even during the Somme! The most intriguing part of the family story is that due to where they were living at the time the '7 Stalwart Fletchers' could have had mixed loyalties and been on different sides and yet more Fletchers must have survived or I wouldn't be here! We never have and never will known the full truth but as a family would love the story to be written and feel that no one would be able to do it justice quite like we feel you would be able to. Sorry if I've wasted your time but I had to try, I just wish I had the skill to turn this small gem of information into a masterpiece. Yours Faithfully, Ross Davies

A

I am working on the next book of the Saxon stories now. Hope to have it ready for publication in the UK in October (January 2010 for the US).

The problem isn't writing about stories such as the 7 stalwart Fletchers, but rather when people send me their unpublished manuscripts and ask me to read and comment - and it has happened (though never to me) that some nasty lawyer later brings a case claiming that the author took ideas from the unpublished story. So it's much easier to say that I won't read such things - and it isn't my job to read them! That job belongs to agents and publishers. So I might well put the magnificent seven in a tale of Towton! It's a battle that has always intrigued me . . . . who knows? One day, perhaps.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Are there any plans to release your novel "Azincourt" in talking book format.
Damien Muldoon

A

Azincourt (Agincourt in the US) is available in unabridged CD in both the UK and the US right now. I think you can find it on Amazon or by going to the HarperCollins website (www.harpercollins.co.uk or www.harpercollins.com.)


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Let me start out by saying you have a rare and incredible gift for writing. I have read all of your books except for the Sharpe series which I intend to start soon. I have always been fervently fascinated with all history, mainly Medieval history, with the hundred years war being my favorite historical setting. I have read and reread the Grail Quest series and the depiction of the battle of Crecy is flawless. I have several questions for you now. First, since you are obviously passionate about your country's history, have you ever considered writing a novel around the Scots-English conflicts in the Middle Ages? You included a fairly major battle in Vagabond, but this was after the peak of Scottish strength, and I believe you could do a better job than any other author in doing justice to the passionate highland Scotsmen and their culture. (Also the lowland Scots and their shiltrons were nearly as effective as longbowmen at stopping masses of heavy cavalry)After all, the turn of the 13th century into the 14th on the island of Britain was a time rich in unrest and violence. Also a wonderful event to center a novel around would be the Battle of Culloden in 1736.

Also, since childhood I have yearned to become a writer of historical fiction (with you being more than a major influence and inspiration), but whenever I get decently into a story I find it difficult to continue writing when I get to a stretch of peace. How is it that you keep your stories so vivacious and gripping when there is little or no action? Is it raw knowledge of the times or do you get involved with character development? I understand if you can't give me a concrete answer, but I would love to know. Another question I have is about research. When I started to read the Saxon stories, I had very little knowledge about dark ages Europe. The richness of seamlessly included detail of anything from individual peasant families to the fighting styles of sword Danes made me wonder where you learned this. Do you find specific books on whatever you need to know or do you look in broader histories? Thank you for all of your books; along with others of countless fans I will treasure them forever. Cordially, Forester H. McClatchey

A

I confess that the Anglo=Scottish wars have never really fascinated me, and I think an obsession with a period is a pre-requisite. I was just reading about Culloden, which is a nasty little battle, but I still don't feel any great urge to deal with it. But still, thanks for the suggestion!

You might like to take a look at the writing advice posted to the FAQ page of this website. Hopefully you will find it helpful! Research is a lifelong occupation and I use anything and everything I can put my hands on; including diaries, journals, histories, etc.


Q

Any plans for Sharpe's appearance in Ireland during the 1798 rebellion or the American war of Independence?
Greg Sheppard

A

Sorry, I don't think so!